Numbered 256 of 350
This rare Churchill toby jug was produced in 1941 in a limited edition of 350. It shows Churchill in the uniform of a Privy Councillor and holding a warship in reference to his original appointment as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911. It was originally conceived as part of the well known set of First World War leaders caricatured in toby jug form by the political cartoonist Sir Frank Carruthers Gould in 1915-19. However the first Churchill toby jug was 'pulled' from production by the manufacturer Arthur J. Wilkinson (Royal Staffordshire Pottery) in 1915 after Churchill's resignation over the Dardanelles debacle.
The warship attribute gained special relevance again on the day in 1939 that Britain declared war on Germany and Churchill was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty and a member of the War Cabinet. Several firms in the Staffordshire Potteries took the opportunity to produce patriotic Churchill toby jugs, causing Wilkinson’s to revisit their unissued Churchill jug of 1915. The celebrated ceramic designer Clarice Cliff (1899-1972) updated the 1915 model with the addition of the bulldog 'seat' and legend around the base 'GOING INTO ACTION’ and ‘MAY GOD DEFEND THE RIGHT'. Clarice herself had a long history at Wilkinson’s of Burslem. She served two apprenticeships there in 1916 and 1924, before studying the Royal College of Art, and, having enjoyed international commercial success, she married Wilkinson’s co-owner in 1940.
At Christmas 1941 the present jug was offered for sale by Harrods of Knightsbridge who described it as : 'An historic addition to the famous Toby Jug series. This model of our Premier is a work of art, and will be treasured down the years as a treasured symbol of an epic age …'